GoPro Meltdown – What Are The Best Alternatives?
GoPro has fallen from grace, from riches to rags. For half the hefty price tag, you could get a great quality, reliable alternative.
Published: Friday, January 12th 2018
GoPro had it rough last year. They’ve been facing stiff competition in the action camera market, and things haven’t looked much better as 2018 rolled around. Big companies, such as Google and Samsung, have all launched similar products.
Action cameras have become a hot commodity to some, with everybody aching to film that next viral vid. If I owned an action camera it would just be footage of walking back and forth to the snack drawer, but other people have found a much better use for it.
GoPro’s main selling point right now is their name, and they’ve blown a ton of money on marketing for their Hero camera range. Unfortunately for them, however, the newest camera in the range, Hero 6, hasn’t fared so well. The camera, according to reviews, was released with major issues. Three months after the launch of the Hero 6, GoPro went ahead and lowered the price tag. Not a good sign.
But wait, it gets even worse.
GoPro Feels The Heat
The GoPro Karma drone, which was supposed to turn it all around, has been met, shall we say, without much enthusiasm. Plagued with production problems from the start, experiencing delays and recalls, the company has decided to abandon ship. GoPro announced that after selling the remaining inventory to, presumably, people who have never heard of the internet or news, it will be shutting down the drone division.
GoPro also announced that it will be reducing its workforce down to fewer than 1000 people. Stocks in the company fell by at least 33%, its biggest plummet ever since going public 3 years ago.
GoPro’s CEO, Nick Woodman, was the highest paid CEO in the United States in 2014. His 2014 salary, including bonuses, totalled $287.2 million. Four years later, he’s reducing his salary to $1. COO Charles Prober will be leaving the company next month.
“GoPro is committed to turning our business around in 2018,” said Woodman. “We expect that going forward, our roadmap coupled with a lower operating expense model will enable GoPro to return to profitability and growth in the second half of 2018.”
Cool story, bro.
Some big names pop up when searching for alternatives to GoPro. The likes of Garmin, Sony, Olympus, Apeman and TomTom dominate most of the High End market. We, however, searched for quality, reputation and experience. Here’s our Top 3, more affordable alternatives to GoPro…
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AKASO EK7000 4K
The AKASO EK7000 is for those who really want a GoPro, but just don't hate themselves enough to pay the exorbitant price for one. This is about as close as you can get. In terms of appearance, it’s practically identical to the Hero 4. Because of this, it is also usable with many Hero 4 accessories.
The camera features 4K Ultra-HD video recording at 30fps and a 12MP lens.
It comes with a removable waterproof case, a wireless remote control which you can wear on your wrist and two rechargeable batteries. Each long-lasting battery is capable of recording up to 90 minutes of 4K video, each.
It features built-in WiFi and HDMI, allowing you to edit and share on the go.
Compared to the GoPro Hero 5, the EK7000 lacks both Bluetooth and a touchscreen. The Hero also doesn’t require a waterproof case to reach at least 33 feet under water. Both come with a big variety of accessories but neither includes a MicroSD card with purchase. The GoPro accessories are sold separately.
The EK7000 stabilizes video via its software, whereas the Hero 5 has a built in video stabilizer.
For almost a quarter of the GoPro price, many consumers speak highly of the AKASO EK7000. Criticisms include the video stabilizer, that it may not be as waterproof as it claims and that the battery door is difficult to open if you have tiny little jazz hands. Other than that, it’s a firm favourite among action sports athletes.
Our second pick is the Yi 4K+ - another great mid-level GoPro alternative. The camera records extremely high quality 4K at 60fps and comes fitted with a 12MP sensor and electronic image stabilizer.
It has a built-in LCD touchscreen with Gorilla Glass. Great for when you flip your bicycle over while going down a hill. Your teeth might not make it, but at least your touchscreen will.
That the Yi provides image stabilization at 4K is definitely one of its major draws. Another is that it is also more affordable than the newer GoPro models, coming in at around half the price. One-button control makes it user-friendly and a single charge of battery should fetch around 120 minutes of recording.
The camera itself, though, also isn’t waterproof and unlike the AKASO, doesn’t come with a case. You have to buy that separately.
Audio quality, unfortunately, is one of the negatives. So is the unreliable voice control.
If you’re not planning on going anywhere near water, the ground-level price of this camera still makes it a great bargain.
SJcam SJ7 Star
Also coming in at around half the price of the GoPro Hero 5 Black, we find a premium, good-looking camera packed full of nifty features. For the price, you’ll struggle to find a better quality action camera and a fitting replacement for the GoPro.
The SJcam SJ7 Star gives us 4K recording at 40fps with a 16MP sensor, providing crisp, detailed images. With the gyro image stabilizer, you won’t have any shaky recordings. Even if you’re falling down a flight of stairs for your late-to-the-party Vine video.
The camera is made out of metal, so you know it’s sturdy, and also features a touchscreen. You can control the camera via remote and it allows for external microphone support. Yes, it is waterproof, too.
Criticism includes that it can only shoot 4K for 50 minutes, and because of the metal body it tends to run a little hot. Also, it has one of those annoying old-type USB chargers.
The SJ7 features a ‘Superview’ mode, allowing you to shoot 4K at an ultra-wide angle at 25fps.This, however, has been criticised for increasing barrel distortion in video footage.
Barrel distortion, for those who don’t know, is when straight lines are curved inwards, in the shape of a barrel. This is how Mainstay Cane drinkers experience the world all of the time.